Excavation and recovery in forensic archaeological investigations
Authors: Cheetham, P.N. and Hanson, I.
The chess board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. (Thomas Huxley 1909) Why involve archaeologists in forensic investigations? This chapter discusses practical reasons. Archaeologists have begun to be used when excavation and recovery of buried evidence at crime scenes is required, because they demonstrate expertise in untangling the seemingly chaotic structure of scattered and buried features, artefacts and deposits. With Huxley’s chess board view of the world in mind, archaeologists have specifically developed strategies for managing and organising the spatial and temporal control and analysis of complex sites-playing the chess game of investigating buried landscapes with rules utilising the laws of nature. This chapter provides considerations for archaeologists (and others, including anthropologists, crime scene managers, investigators, and humanitarian organisations) engaged in archaeological work, not so much on specific excavation or recording methods but on what challenges exist in undertaking archaeological interventions within forensic investigations.